Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Already, bidness has gone down at Corporate Behemoth. I scratched the crap out of my cornea whilst removing a contact that was evidently trimmed in glass shards. No magical gnomes have arrived to vacuum the dog hair that covers every surface of my home. And then there was the tiny bidness of Creepy Stalker Guy having the nerve to attend my church.
And I'm preparing for a holiday weekend that features no large bodies of water. The up side? No bikini line maintenance. The down side? No water. No swimming. No boating. No Foxie Doxie in a life vest ... which we left at the lake home of The Ex-Boyfriend Formerly Known as Mr. Wonderful's parents, anyway.
So, here's to a three-day weekend that's preventing me from disappearing and telling everyone that I'm hiking the Appalachian Trail. Because, really? Who would believe that?
Monday, June 29, 2009
Seriously. Watch this.
I totally want to be like Hazel when I grow up.
I had a great-aunt Hazel. My sweet grandma was her sister, and they married brothers. That was fun, because all the same people came to family reunions, no matter which side of the family it was.
I also remember being very impressed that Aunt Hazel ate corn on the cob by cutting the corn off the cob and then eating it with a fork. I guess her teeth couldn't handle it, but I thought it was just very ladylike.
Aunt Hazel and Uncle Bart were married for approximately 752 years. I'm not even kidding. And they died a few days apart and had a joint funeral. They had been holding on for each other, and there was no reason for one to hang around without the other. That is love, partnership and dedication.*
So, yeah, I want to be like Aunt Hazel when I grow up, too.
*Don't get me wrong - their fights were legendary. But it all comes out in the wash.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
But this morning I didn't let myself be a total slob. I cleaned myself up and made it to church ... for the first time since Easter. Yeah, I know.
During the first hymn, I noticed a woman four rows ahead of me. She was wearing a patterned linen dress - the kind that uptight women buy for full price at department stores and see as examples of their creative sense of style.
Obviously, I totally had God in my heart this morning.
I imagined she was wearing sensible shoes. And then I imagined that the man sitting next to her looked a lot like Creepy Stalker Guy. Except ... that it was Creepy Stalker Guy!
He had mentioned to me that he and his sister were shopping for churches and had really liked my church. In a city of a gazillion churches, they were sitting four rows ahead of me.
When the hymn was over, I scooted over a seat so that I was directly behind him and obscured by a very pregnant woman. And then, I proceeded to freak out.
On Friday, Creepy Stalker Guy had both texted me the message "Hi" and sent me an e-mail through match.com that said, "So, have you met a great guy yet?" The one-two punch made my skin crawl. It had been about 10 days since he'd last texted me, so I was hoping he was gone. Alas, no such luck.
I considered walking out of the church. I was sitting in the back, so it could be done with no disruption. But then I just got mad. Dammit, I actually got my ass out of bed and dressed and to church on time for once. I was going to stay. What's the worst that could happen?
The worst that could happen is that he would approach me after the service and I'd call him out in front of his sister. I would say, "You need to stop contacting me. You have shown a total lack of respect for me and my wishes. We aren't friends, because friends don't act like that. You offered to pay me to go out with you. That's sick."
And then I would look his sister in the eye and say, "This is a problem." And then I would walk away.
I worried all service. And then I realized that I was sitting next to a handsome older man who was sitting alone, and worst case, I could take his hand and pretend we were a couple. A couple who came to church together after spending Saturday night together. A couple, as in two, as in no room for Creepy Stalker Guy!
So, I had a plan for this service. But what about next time I come to church (which, at the rate I'm going, will be Advent)? Am I going to cower?
Hell to the no. I have a plan. And that plan is applicable anytime.
The final song of the service was Corner of the Sky, from Pippin. It's an amazing song, and seemed strangely fitting:
Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I have to be where my spirit can run free
Gotta find my corner of the sky
And so, when the service was done?
I ran free! I high-tailed it outta there and didn't look back. I walked down the street and did some shopping. I bought some great clothes for work and bargained that man right outta my hair.
Friday, June 26, 2009
No. I'm talking site maintenance.
I've been meaning to update my blogroll since, like, the time of the dinosaurs. And today? The day when a) I woke up at 5:45 for no good reason and yet managed to get to work only at my typical 9:00 time; b) I worked my tail off despite the fact that there's a new pool / swingers' club right next to Corporate Behemoth that blares music all afternoon; and c) I am preparing to sneak my flask into the movies with my friend Amelia?
Well, today is the day.
I've made a meager attempt at updating my list of stuff I actually read, but I'm not always the hostess with the mostest. So, if you'd like to have your blog listed, please leave me a comment. And I'm always on the lookout for fun new reads, so don't be shy!
Have a great weekend, and for those of you in the Midwest? Try not to die of heat stroke, m'kay?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Truth be told, he freaks me out just a bit.
I had been dreading this conversation. We were on the phone. I told him that I didn't think we were going anywhere. He was upset and, surprisingly to me, totally surprised.
Now, he wasn't hateful. But he was a bit ... belligerent. Some favorites:
- Help me out here. Tell me why.
- You're totally missing the boat here. You just don't have this connection with someone every day.
- Wow. I think you're totally misguided.
And, of course, my two favorites:
- Well, I can tell you one thing: I'm never doing online dating again. This whole experience has totally turned me off from meeting people that way. You think you know someone ...
Which was followed up with this heart-warming bit:
- I'll pray for you.
Jeeeeeezus. Just because I don't want to date you doesn't mean that I'm a heathen or destined for eternal damnation.
My mom's take on the prayer business? "Good. Tell him you're praying he'll get a clue and leave you alone."
My dad's take on the whole deal? "You're a fabulous babe, and hot babes have to deal with this sort of thing. You did what you had to do."
Which had me singing "My Way" a la Sinatra all day. Regrets? I have a few. But then again? Too few to mention.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
My last 2 posts highlight my husband's removing live critters (snake and bird) that Al the killer cat brought into the house. Just giving you the perspective. When I think "why do I put up with his BS?" I will remember the snake and the bird. And the other critters (alive or dead) that he gets to deal with.
Obviously, she's got a point. Unfortunately, I was reminded yet again last night how vitally important critter removal is.
Last night, I let Foxie Doxie and Lil' Frankfurter outside for their right-before-bed constitutional.
Actually, Lil' Frank refused to go out. So I picked him up and cuddled him and prepared to ceremoniously dump this disobedient ass on the deck - when I heard what can best be described as a clatter.
It was Foxie. Barking his head off in the pitch-black. And then? Then, there was hissing.
It was a possum. A humongous possum that was really pissed off that his evening constitutional was interrupted by a loud, indignant and uncouth dachshund.
I dropped Lil' Frank, who scampered back into the house. Then, I proceeded to try to convince Foxie to leave the varmint and come inside.
I wasn't terribly successful. Or, really, successful at all.
Foxie ended up underneath the deck, barking incessantly at the cornered possum, who hissed like he was going to kick some serious ass. Add the visual of me - in my nightgown, natch - standing on the deck, yelling at Foxie and occasionally jabbing a broom under the deck, trying to make something - anything - happen, and you've got a whole lot of whiskey tango.
This went on for 20 minutes. Finally, I called my friend CB. He fit two important criteria: a) he's a night owl and therefore wouldn't hate me forever for calling at 11:10; and b) he's an Eagle Scout and therefore should automatically know what to do in such situations.
CB assured me that the possum wouldn't hurt anybody, and suggested I attempt to lure Foxie with his favorite food. CB was also kind enough to pretend like I really was facing a horrific test.
I hung up, armed myself with cheese, and attempted to sweet talk Foxie again.
And, again, he ignored me. And then? Then, it started to rain. A lot.
The barking and the hissing continued. Finally, after I looked like a participant in a wet t-shirt contest, I used the broom to pry the crappy fencing off the side of the deck. You know - it's the fencing that's supposed to keep doxies and varmints from getting under the deck in the first place?
Yeah. That fencing is dead to me.
And then I used the broom to poke the possum so he realized that he could move around. He made a run for it. And I was able to grab Foxie and drag his muddy but very satisfied self into the house.
Upon returning to the house, I realized that Lil' Frank had been so upset by the barking and hissing and yelling and improper broom usage that he had run around the house peeing. Not purposely marking - no, that would be too easy to clean up. No, Lil' Frank ran laps around the house, not having control of his nervous bladder.
So, at 11:45, I commenced bathing both dogs and cleaning pretty much every square inch of my floors. Then, I took a hot shower, because I was freezing and soaked to the bone. Plus? I was a teensy bit annoyed.
So, yeah, you gotta wonder. I totally understand where you're coming from.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
There's a very haughty (and delusional) part of me that thinks, "I could buy and sell you without a second thought. Don't try to impress me with your Crate and Barrel sofa."
Or, like Phil Hartman's brilliant Sinatra impression, "I've got chunks of guys like you in my stool."
So, there's that. And there's the exhaustion. And the fact that I can barely handle all the flower-giving beaus currently beating down my door.
But I logged in tonight and - funny thing about match.com - instead of extending me for one month? The sort of extended me for three. So, I'm on match until September, whether I like it or not.
Ok, then. It's like a death march of dating.
I should add more pictures to my profile. Or I should at least log in every once in a while so that my profile doesn't get the "active within three weeks" tag of slackerdom.
But just to give you an idea of where I am? I came home from work today, stripped down to my skivvies, and lounged about in bed reading until 7:30. At that point, I got up, put on my nightgown, and retired to the couch, where I've been watching Hallmark movies ever since.
Yeah, my life is pretty great. I'm not sure why I'm looking for a mate.
Monday, June 22, 2009
You see, Lil' Frankfurter has a touch of the OCD. Since I took away The Love Of His Life (see also: my old toothbrush), his current obsession is any tennis ball.
Lil' Frank's favorite "game" of rolling a tennis ball under the couch and then barking until I retrieve it is both tiresome and, at times, dangerous (see also: Lil' Frank attempts to amputate my finger). And sometimes? Sometimes, I'm a tired old bitch and just plain old don't want to play.
So, I figured out that if I hide the tennis balls in the refrigerator, he has no comprehension of where they went. He can't see or smell them, so it's like they just magically disappeared. He doesn't even really freak out - it's amazing!
But when I'm not being The World's Cruelest Mama (see also: this entire blog), I realize that I should sign Lil' Frank up for youth soccer - or at least get him a foosball table. The boy has skillz, as evidenced by his interaction with my bathroom vanity.
Kudos to Lil' Frank for keeping a supply of tennis balls under there. And kudos to the contractor who installed the vanity, who left a freakin' paper towel, figuring no one would ever know. Ahem.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I'm just going to wait until it's dark.
So, our evening of uneventful channel surfing turned into something serious and worthwhile. I happened upon a powerful documentary on PBS called Be Good, Smile Pretty. It's the story of woman whose father was killed in Vietnam when she was just three months old - and her quest to get to know her dad.
In some ways, her quest seems incredibly selfish. As she implores her mother, her dad's family, his comrades, his Annapolis classmates for information, she brings up painful memories and pokes at wounds that never heal.
I have a hard time seeing anguish.
But really? This documentary is a story about honesty and asking the difficult questions. It's also a bit of a scavenger hunt, trying to make something tangible out of memories. Trying to make sense of it all.
And tonight? Tonight, I'm just tired. And homesick. And sad. And realizing that as much as I was sick and tired of being so damned sad, I'm still not over the grief of the last year. I wouldn't dream of comparing the two situations, but ... tonight, I can relate to feeling a void.
So, it was nice to have an excuse to cry.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Lil' Frankfurter has discovered lightening bugs. He watches them and goes to eat them, but when they light up, he freaks out and jumps back. Picture this scenario happening over and over and over again. I don't know why I even have cable.
Potpourri for $400
Today, my shrink was doing her typical "Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh" active listening ... while also grabbing a tissue and in slow motion moving toward a mosquito that had landed on the wall. Dr. Shrink zeroed in on her target and said, "Yeah, you better believe it!" before smashing the pesky bug with - dare I say it? - Freud-like authority.
Potpourri for $600
I'm hosting my book club tomorrow night. And yet? My house is a disaster. All you book club ladies out there: as long as there is lots of wine, do you care if it's best not to go barefoot in my casa?
Potpourri for $800
Your friend and mind, Green Girl in Wisconsin, wrote: I am SO disappointed you had nothing to post on Bret's Tony fiasco;)
Girl, I have been trying to get all of my facts straight before commenting on this important news story. Basically, when the news first broke, the Tony spokewoman was quoted as saying Bret got hit by moving scenery because he "missed his mark."
And I'm sorry, but I totally lost my shit. Bret does NOT miss his mark! He is Bret Michaels! He wrote Unskinny Bop and has turned dating skanks into a multi-million dollar business. He is personally responsible for the resurgence of the bandanna. Bret does not "miss his mark."*
*Unless we're talking about choosing the wrong Rock of Love.
Potpourri for $1000
This is for my friend Liza, who has a bit of a creepy crush on my brother. So, Liza, here's a bit of Poochie Por ... uh, Poochie Photo Appreciation.
This is my bro doing stuff to my house, all handymanlike. He's the best.*
*Also, notice the guest appearance by Gretchen's extension ladder. Gretchen? Also the best!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
We painted the garage, futzed with my friend L.'s broken powerwasher, settled for spraying down the old metal shed with a regular hose, and repainted the shed by hand when the paint sprayer died.
We are exhausted. Did I mention it's hot?
Poochie has downed two gallons of Arnold Palmer so far. It's lemonade and iced tea, and if I liked iced tea, I'd think it was pretty good, too.
And at lunch today? Poochie decided that the one thing that would power him through the rest of the day was a Baskin Robbin's ice cream cake.
Who was I to argue?
The kid at BR asked Poochie how many people he was feeding ... and offered to write "We're Done!" on the cake when Poochie explained the painting / siblings gorging themselves situation.
My garage is mostly done except for touching up trim. And the shed just needs one more coat. We're eating chocolate cake and mint chocolate ice cream. Life is good. And this is what real house projects look like.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
For some reason, the garage - and only the garage - is peeling. So, today, Poochie and I scraped the shit out of the front of the garage. Mercifully, it was mostly cloudy and a lovely 75 degrees. We listed to Car Talk and What Do You Know, and then when NPR failed us, we worked in happy silence, or we spontaneously sang TV show theme songs together.
Yes, we both know all of the words to the theme from The Love Boat. Also? We are both wondering why Lego hasn't yet made Golden Girls playsets. We know that theme song, too.
There's a chance of rain tonight and tomorrow, so we entertained my neighbors by priming the garage by the headlights of my Honda. White trash, thy name is Cha Cha.
And while we worked outside, Foxie Doxie and Lil' Frankfurter created their own society inside, a la Lord of the Flies. They aren't allowed in the backyard unattended - there's another dead squirrel. Poochie and I keep running errands and forgetting to take the squirrel with us, because I'll be damned if I stick another decomposing carcass in my garage trashcan. It still smells. Really. Bad.
But we are covered, come rain or shine. I have primer in my hair. We've eaten barbecue three meals in a row. We are exhausted. And we have a new understanding and appreciation of people whose houses look like crap.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I was in a hurry, so I figured I would drag the trashcan outside when I got home. And as I drove off, I realized that my poor Honda smelled like ass.
I was amazed that such a little squirrel could pack such an odoriferous punch. And I always keep my windows rolled up in the garage!
So, I drove off to a volunteer meeting ... a meeting with the organization that just happened to sponsor the event where Ex-Ex shaved his head for charity. One of the items on our agenda was an event recap ... which actually included our 12-year-old staff liaison falling all over herself over Ex-Ex. Now, Ex-Ex wasn't in attendance and doesn't serve on my committee, but the whole thing just made me kinda want to barf.
And then, I realized what a wonderful opportunity I faced.
I should take the stinky dead squirrel to Ex-Ex's house and just leave it somewhere where it would be difficult to find but have a big olfactory impact.
No one would get hurt. But it would a) get the stinkiness away from my house; and b) provide immense satisfaction to me.
But then I realized that doing such a thing would be, you know, like, immature. And then some people could argue that I have some sort of problem or something.
While I was mulling this over, I had to go to my every-three-months appointment with my psychiatrist. You know, the appointment where I pretend to be normal, beg for a Zoloft refill, and check out the flaky receptionist for your reading pleasure.
Except! Except the blonde, boobtastic receptionist with the dirty jeans and the nose ring was gone! And in her place was a grown woman, a woman dressed in a demure black skirt and silk blouse. A woman who spoke with an English accent.
I was disappointed. Until English Accent Receptionist informed me that according to her notes, I had rescheduled my appointment. I pointed out that I had spoken to her personally the day before when she called to confirm my appointment. All was well, but it made me realize that looks aside, you have to be sort of not all there to be a part-time receptionist for a doctor who works primarily with crazy people.
Typically, I look at the people in the waiting room and wonder what their problems are. And I try my best to look normal. Except yesterday? Yesterday, I realized that considering dumping a dead squirrel carcass at the home of my ex-ex-boyfriend - a man who is merely an annoyance - probably wasn't an argument for my own mental health. Sure, you can be all, "Oh, I just have issues with depression." But once you're transporting dead animals for your own emotional gain? Well, that enters into a whole new realm of psychiatric health or lack thereof.
I got the Zoloft refill. I got home and moved the trashcan outside, next to the garage, where it resided until this evening. Thankfully, tomorrow is trash day, so tonight I held my breath and moved the stinkiness down to the street. Oh sweet eight-pound, five-ounce baby Jesus. I feel the need to Febreeze my entire yard.
My yard smells like death. But my conscious? It is clear.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
My friend CB has offered to text him and be all, "Why do you keep texting my wife? I just got back from Iraq and I will not put up with this shit! You're gonna die!"
But I'm thinking that might be too subtle.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Mostly, I'm exhausted. It's not a good sign when I'm looking forward to next weekend - a three-day weekend with my brother helping me scrape and paint the exterior of my house - as downtime.
But, being exhausted right at this moment doesn't mean that I'm not a tiny bit ... itchy.
When I arrived in Dallas Friday night, I didn't have anyone to call to assure that I had arrived safely.
And yesterday in the airport, I sat across from a middle-aged couple. They were side by side, each playing a game on their phones. I thought that was sad, until I realized they were competing against each other, laughing. Then, I was jealous.
The final nail in the coffin? Today, after work, I noticed Foxie Doxie standing guard over a treasure in the yard.
Yeah, you know this isn't going to end well.
Foxie picked up the treasure, then set it back down, unsure of what to do. When I walked over to investigate, I discovered that the treasure was ... a dead baby squirrel.
Last time Foxie discovered a treasure in the yard, Poochie was here. Mercifully, my sweet baby brother took a snow shovel and tossed the carcass across the fence, into the yard of the empty house next door.
No, I'm not proud of that. But I was relieved.
So, today, my thought process went like this:
I have to do something with the dead squirrel.
First, I have to quarantine Foxie Doxie. I wonder if I can get him to gargle Listerine. Probably not.
I have to do something with the dead squirrel. Too bad I can't just chuck it over the fence, since that house isn't vacant anymore. Too bad Poochie isn't coming until Friday. Could I leave the squirrel outside until then?
Probably not. Foxie would try to pick it up.
It would probably be bad form if I called Poochie and asked him to drive three hours here and three hours back to dispose of a dead squirrel.
Ok. I'll double-bag it. I sure hope it doesn't stink up the trash in the garage. Trash day isn't until Friday, which is, like, 72 years from now.
I am a woman. I can do this. No one will know if I hold my breath and almost cry. The point is just to get the job done - doesn't matter how. I am woman, here me roar. I am woman, see me dispose of carcasses.
And then? Then I picked up the squirrel with a trowel, doubled-bagged the carcass, double-knotted the two bags, and threw the whole mess into the garage trash can. Yes, I closed the lid carefully. And yes, I then washed my hands for about 20 minutes.
And this, my friends, is yet another reason why I'm renewing my match.com subscription.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
I'm sure many of you think, "Wow, Cha Cha! Did you go to the grassy knoll? What about the museums? Dallas has so much to offer. What did you do?"
And I will tell you. We went to IKEA. And Marshall's. And Sonic. And Chuy's.
It was fantastic.
K. and I haven't seen each other in three years, but no matter - we picked up right where we left off. She cracks my shit up. Also? She introduced me to the most amazing tool ever in the history of mankind.
You see, K. has two golden retrievers. One of them, who has a lovely red face that is now mixed with grey, has cheeks the color of graham crackers. Both of these dogs are a bit furtastic and are suffering in the heat.
So, I helped K. brush them outside. She let me use The Furminator.
The Furminator is that brush that promises to pull all sorts of hair off your dog so you can pitch it instead of find it, say, shed all over your carpet. And I am here to tell you: The Furminator works. And, most importantly, is highly satisfying.
Now, I'm the woman who loves to paint simply because I like tasks with tangible results. The Furminator is like that. By the time we were done, we had enough hair to make, like, three puppies. And the dogs loved it.
At one point, I turned to K. and said, "This is the most fulfilling part of this trip. This is my favorite part."
Because we are friends, K. didn't miss a beat. "You are one weird lady."
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Today, I decided to be all crazy like and not wear a sweater. I decided to go with a short-sleeved t-shirt and a linen scarf. I figured the scarf would offset any chilliness from having bare arms.
Here's the ensemble, with the camera cleverly positioned to cover up the 276 zits on my chin:
Ok. So, today I had not one but two male, developer-types stop me in the hallway about this ensemble.
The first was just like, "Nice scarf!"
But the second? Stopped, and told a senior vice president to hold on a minute, because he needed to talk to me. And here's what he said: "Nice scarf! Do you have a cold? Or is it winter and I just didn't know it?"
And here's what I said in return - verbatim: "Uhhh?"
Seriously? These two guys are dressed up when they're sporting clean polo shirts and khakis. And they're dissing my scarf?
The first comment could be an anomaly, but two comments make me nervous. So, shoot me straight: is the scarf a little too Dr. Zhivago for June? Or am I a fashion visionary? Or something in between?
Give it to me straight. I can take it.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Today I was behind a minivan with a bumper sticker that proclaimed, "Proud Parent of a TRAIL RIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL Honor Student."
Except that the sticker was wrinkled, so upon first glance it looked like the honor student in question attended Thai Ridge Middle School.
Which got me to thinking - what the hell sort of name is Trail Ridge, anyway? And why are all of our schools named like craptastic subdivisions? Trail Ridge, Prairie View, Wood Crest? Seriously?
I like Thai Ridge Middle School because it makes me think they serve totally yummy lunches, and Friday is curry day. But really? I think all middle schools should have names more appropriate to the experiences they house. Sort of a truth in advertising thing.
- Everyone Is Cooler Than You Middle School
- I Hate My Life Middle School
- The Longest Three Years of Your Life Middle School
- Like Waterboarding But Worse Middle School
- This Isn't Like Saved By The Bell Middle School
- My Mom Said This Zit Wasn't That Noticeable Middle School
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
1. The other day, I noticed a few kernels of popcorn on the floor of a stall in the ladies' room at Corporate Behemoth. This means someone took popcorn with them into the stall. Now, while I have been known to linger in a stall and do some deep breathing as a means of stress relief, I've never actually brought snacks. I'm going to be all judgmental and say, "EWWW!"
2. Second Chance Guy won't let up.
First, there was this text: If I call, will u answer?
Umm? Considering I haven't responded to any of your texts in two weeks? I'm guessing the answer should be apparent.
Then, there was the e-mail via match.com:
I just wanted to say hi.
Ok, then. I just hope "hi" isn't code for "I'm sitting outside of your house in my van and don't you mind the duct tape and packing knife in the seat next to me."
I'm starting to be a bit creeped out, although my shrink thinks the e-mail means he's getting the message.
3. Because I love Journey, this made me laugh and laugh and laugh.
And ... that's all I've got.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Well, the blue mud daupers are really pretty. But a bit, umm, bitchy. I have four stings on my left bicep. Perhaps it will swell up and I will look really buff. But right now? Right now, I'm stoned out of my mind on Benadryl. I'm sort of allergic to wasps.
Strangely, these stings didn't hurt the way I remember other stings to hurt. Perhaps I have passed my Delicate Young Flower stage and am now officially a Tough Old Broad.
The wasps made me think of my sweet daddy. When Poochie and I were growing up, we had one of those metal swing sets. Ours was white with orange and green accents (of course - the official color scheme of the 70s).
The problem with this particular swing set design was that the hollow tubes made the most awesome wasp condos ever. And no kid is particularly pumped about swing sets with the added bonus of painful stings.
So, every year, my dad would get his can of Raid and spray the crap out of that swing set. My mom, Poochie and I would stand at the sliding glass door and watch him spray Raid into one end of the main swing set support ... and watch a hot mess of pissed-off wasps come flying out the other end. Then, we'd cheer as my dad ran like holy hell for the house, wasps hot on his tail.
It's one of those things that I thought was really cool as a kid. As an adult, I know how completely distasteful that task is and have a totally new appreciation for my dad.